Light Armoured Vehicles: Judicial Control Against the Minister of Foreign Affairs
On March 21, 2016, Daniel Turp, represented by Trudel Johnston & Lespérance, filed before the Federal Court a notice of application for judicial review to prohibit the issuance of a permit to export light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.
The serious and repeated violations of human rights by Saudi Arabia are indisputable and well documented. In fact, Saudi Arabia has one of the poorest human rights records amongst all world governments.
Despite all this, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion still recently reaffirmed that he would respect the contract with Saudi Arabia for the export of light armoured vehicles. Yet, there is a real risk that these armoured vehicles will be used against civilian populations, whether inside or outside the Saudi borders, such as in Yemen where a coalition headed by Saudi Arabia is now accused of breaching international humanitarian law in attacking civilian targets.
Consequently, Mr. Turp seeks a declaration that the issuance of a permit to export light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia would contravene the Export and Import Permits Act, its regulations and the guidelines adopted by the Cabinet in 1986, in addition to contravening the Geneva Conventions Act. Mr. Turp asks the Federal Court to prohibit the issuance of such a permit.
On January 24, 2017, Justice Danièle Tremblay-Lamer rejected Mr. Turp’s application. Mr. Turp decided to appeal this decision. The hearing of the appeal was held on December 6, 2017, at the Federal Court of Appeal. We are waiting for the judgment of the Federal Court of Appeal.